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Author: Becker, Karl Ferdinand, 1775-1849
Subject: German language; Grammar, Comparative and general
Publisher: London, J. Murray
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Digitizing sponsor: Google
Book from the collections of: Oxford University
Full catalog record: MARCXML
This book has an editable web page on Open Library.
Subject: some pages missing
Chapter V of Part II, “Of Constructions”, is missing. It is some 20 pages long and is the last part of the book.
An extract from the Preface:
[S]ome German grammarians among whom the greatest merit is unquestionably due to Dr. J. Grimm, have opened a new road to the study of the German language, by their historical investigations into the ancient Teutonic tongue, and by their comparisons of the different languages and dialects derived from that common source. At the same time the principles of general grammar have been very successfully elucidated by other philosophical inquirers, among whom Baron W. von Humboldt occupies the most prominent station. The author of this [present] work has been for some time engaged in similar researches. He first endeavoured to point out the laws of the formation of words in the German language (Deutsche Wortbildung. Frankfurt, 1824); subsequently he published a treatise on the Philosophy of Language (Organism der Sprache. Frankfurt, 1827); and, the views laid down in these writings having obtained the approbation of his countrymen, he has recently prepared a Grammar of the German language for the use of Germans (Deutsche Grammatik. Frankfurt, 1829). Upon that work the present German Grammar for the use of Englishmen has been modelled, with such additions, omissions, and modifications, as were thought expedient in accommodating its contents to English readers.…
Those who are acquainted with the subject of this work, will at first sight discover in what respects it differs from other books bearing a similar title. They will find that it adopts the formation of words as the foundation of German grammar; that in enlarging upon the laws of the formation of words, it shows their intimate connection with the laws of inflection; that it deduces from the same source the gender of substantives, the explanation of which has hitherto baffled all attempts at artificial rules, and the declension of substantives and adjectives, for which each Grammar has proposed a peculiar system, but which is now reduced to its natural simplicity; and that it does away with the long list of irregular verbs, which have always been so heavy a burden to the memory of students, but are now almost all classed in a few regular conjugations. The introduction of the author’s views on general grammar has led to the important distinction between Notional and Relational words; in consequence of which the rules relative to pronouns and auxiliary verbs appear in a new light: also to a new classification of cases, of the relations expressed by them, and of the prepositions which are employed instead of them. The laws of German syntax have been simplified, and at the same time rendered precise, by being reduced under the heads of the three combinations (Predicative, Attributive, and Objective). Much attention is paid to the subject of Compound sentences: and the construction of sentences, which has always appeared extremely difficult to foreigners, is explained in a few rules, so as scarcely to leave any room for committing errors. [The emphasis is reviewer’s.]
… [The author] incurs the risk of discouraging many of those who wish to acquire only a practical knowledge of the language: but he can positively affirm, that, the first apparent difficulties being overcome, the rules of German grammar will he found reduced to extreme simplicity and comprehensiveness ….
Many pages of the scan are brownish (but most are white). This scan, though not perfect, is quite readable.
Other copies of the book are available on archive.org.